In 1909, America was a different place. The Wright Brothers had just sold their first airplane. Admiral Robert Peary reached the North Pole, Congress passed the first Income Tax, and William H. Taft became the 27th U.S. president. We had few cars, few roads and most of America was without electricity. But health care was becoming more professional and modern. In Dallas, Baylor took the lead.
Established as the Nurses' Training School of the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium, the first class of nine students was enrolled. The sanitarium, chartered by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, was the clinical facility for the Baylor University College of Medicine.1912
The first graduation exercises were held at Gaston Avenue Baptist Church.
A new building was completed, providing classroom and office space for the school as well as residence for the students and faculty.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas consolidated the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium and the professional schools (medical, dental, pharmacy and nursing). The hospital became Baylor Hospital, and the nursing school, Baylor Hospital School of Nursing.
Changes were made in the curriculum to conform with the standard curriculum published by the National League of Nursing Education.
The names once again evolved and were now Baylor University Hospital and Baylor University School of Nursing. These combined institutions were known as "Baylor-in-Dallas" and regarded as integral parts of Baylor University in Waco. However, the School of Nursing continued to operate as a hospital-controlled nurses' training school.
Zora McAnelly Fiedler became superintendent of nursing and dean of the School of Nursing. She accepted the position with the goal of establishing a baccalaureate school of nursing.
Application was made to the National League of Nursing Education for accreditation.
A new plan of organization under the governing board of the School of Nursing was instituted. The School of Nursing would be directly under the control and supervision of an official of Baylor University in Waco.
The transfer of the School of Nursing to the Waco campus was complete and the first degree class was admitted. Hillcrest Hospital in Waco and Arkansas Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, as well as Baylor Hospital in Dallas, provided sites for clinical work.
The first baccalaureate degrees in nursing were awarded. Temporary accreditation was approved by the National League of Nursing.
In danger of being closed because of financial deficits, the Baylor-in-Dallas board of trustees agreed to supply the needed support so that the school could continue in a time of nursing shortages.
The School of Nursing is the first in Texas to institute an integrated nursing curriculum. The first full accreditation was awarded by the National League of Nursing and enrollment grew to 200 students.
Nursing students began a 30-year tradition of missionary service in Juarez, Mexico.
The graduate school was opened.
The school was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in honor of the ongoing support and $13 million endowment gift from 1992 Baylor University Alumna Honoris Causa, Louise Herrington Ornelas.
An optional annual Capstone Medical Mission Trip was added to the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) curriculum. Through this program, graduate students are given the opportunity to gain valuable clinical experience and provide much needed care to vulnerable populations in Mexico, Honduras and Africa.
Students and faculty worked with Hurricane Katrina's more than 13,000 refugees at Reunion Arena, providing triage, taking health histories, bandaging and treating minor injuries. The medical treatment area saw more than 1,000 people in the first 24 hours and Baylor University nursing students were on-site from the day the Dallas Convention Center opened until the day it closed.
Dean Judy Wright Lott received the "Woman of Distinction" award from the Baylor University Women's Council of Dallas for her professional and educational contributions.
The Don A. and Ruth Buchholz Simulation Lab was opened to increase student's opportunities for hands-on learning experiences in medical procedures and test their decision-making skills.
In an effort to address the growing nationwide nursing shortage, the school introduced the FastBacc program, a 12-month accelerated bachelor's degree. FastBacc provides non-nursing degreed individuals a streamlined trajectory into a career in nursing.
The school began its year-long celebration of a Century of Service which included a historical exhibit at the Mayborn Museum Complex in Waco, Texas, an Alumni Reunion Event, a birthday event on October 14, an Endowed Scholarship Appreciation Dinner and the Centennial Gala Luncheon.
Dedication of the Barnabas Success Center and the Diane Roose Brinkman Study Room, facilities devoted to positioning Baylor nursing students for success in their academic and professional lives.
The nursing school graduated the first three students in the country to complete a unique degree track that provides a direct progression from a BSN degree through a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a concentration in Nurse Midwifery.